Last week Chamonix hosted the European Climbing Championships as part of its 15th International Climbing Festival, so we popped along to watch some of the action.
It was an incredible atmosphere with more than 25000 people turning out at Place du Mont Blanc to cheer on the best climbers in Europe over the three days of competition.
There were several different competitions. Russia dominated in the youth speed climbing events held first. There were also some 'Handi-Climbing' competitions, with separate categories for the blind, amputees and neurological illnesses. This was the first European championships in this category.
The 'speed' events were incredble to watch, but even more impressive were the 'difficulty' events. Several climbers fell while clearly pushing it to the limits, but the 'ambience' when Frenchman Romain Desgranges took a very demanding route was incredible.
By then the organisers estimated that there were 16000 people in the square by the time of the final climbs!
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The Bellevue Alpine Lodge is a traditional gite style hotel situated in beautiful Vallorcine, just 20 minutes drive from Chamonix.
Article by Iain Martin